Travis Rush

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A couple of years before Travis Rush even appeared on the map, critics predicted the rise and popularity of inspirational country as one of the key trends in contemporary Christian music. They predicted more than just the occasional God-fearing hits by otherwise mainstream artists such as George Strait's "I Saw God Today." Rather, they saw the coming of artists who stuck to their guns rather than portraying the commercial, two-sided morality of their Nashville contemporaries. And it became increasingly difficult for Christians to accept the authenticity of a song such as Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel" when it appeared on the same album as a vengeful anthem such as "Before He Cheats." Enter Travis Rush, a true inspirational country artist. When approached with the opportunity to record a hit song, Rush turned it down because of the subject matter -- a tale of tailgating and getting into the wrong kind of trouble. Fans and cynics alike may first imagine such a brand of country as one-sided and hollow; however, Rush demonstrates just how potent country can be without the typical references to partying and fooling around. His influences range from the Eagles to Diamond Rio to Edwin McCain, the latter of whom Rush acknowledges with a cover of "I'll Be." He also showed his loyalty to his fans by having them pick his first single, the uplifting "You'll Find Your Way," through an online vote. Provided he stays tuned in to his fan base and on track with his faith, Rush shows tremendous potential to be one of the influential artists critics wrote about.

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